Recycling - Complications Ensue
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Monday, May 04, 2009

Q. Last year I applied to the ABC/Disney Fellowship with a spec of Breaking Bad. A few months later I reread it, only to find it was terribly flawed, not the least of which because it revolved around a "guest character." So I slashed it apart, shuffled the note cards, re-outlined, and eventually came up with a new script that was probably 70% original 30% recycled scenes . That script has since been read by a few people, working writers among them, who have responded to it very positively.

Iis it safe to submit a reworked spec to the ABC fellowship? Certainly the script is fresh enough to be "new" and I feel that it is thus far the strongest of my specs. My only fear is that somehow a reader will stumble across a scene or even a twist of dialogue or scene setting and feel like "Didn't I read this last year?"
They get a huge whack of scripts. The odds are excellent that you'll have a different reader this time, or that your reader will not, in fact, necessarily recognize your script.

But if they do, it might be a plus. I can imagine rereading the script, recognizing the dialog and thinking, "Okayyyyy, this is way better." And then I'd give you kudos for taking your rewriting seriously.



I'd give the script a new title, just to be safe.

By Blogger tommy, at 2:22 PM  

Here in the UK a showrunner called Tony Jordan has an open door script contest called the Red Planet Prize. First round asks for the first ten pages only.

In 2007 I submitted the first ten pages of a TV pilot and got nowhere. Last year I submitted a much, much better version of the same project. Didn't bother changing the title.

It got through to the second round [where you submit the rest of your script], and was eventually chosen as one of the runners-up.

Moral of the anecdote: if it's good enough [and fits the criteria], it's good enough.

By Blogger David Bishop, at 7:23 AM  

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